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Giant Lemon Sugar Cookies

These wonderfully chewy cookies have a light lemon flavor from both the juice and zest. The sanding sugar on top adds sparkle and a bit of crunch. —Michael Vyskocil, Glen Rock, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 15 min./batch
  • Makes
    14 cookies


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 4 teaspoons coarse sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Beat in lemon zest and juice. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  • Shape 1/4 cupfuls of dough into balls. Place 6 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Flatten to 3/4-in. thickness with bottom of a measuring cup. Lightly brush tops with water; sprinkle with coarse sugar.
  • Bake until light brown, 12-15 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely. Store in airtight containers.
Test Kitchen Tip
  • Want a stronger lemon flavor? Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of lemon extract to give these a boost.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cookie: 340 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 65mg cholesterol, 147mg sodium, 51g carbohydrate (31g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.
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    Average Rating:
    • jhayward
      Jul 4, 2020

      These cookies spread out and looked more like a pancake or crepe than a cookie. They had a faint lemon flavor even though I put in more lemon zest. They made a complete grease print from all of the butter

    • christinebbd
      May 16, 2020

      I made these cookies tonight. They are very good. They aren't easily rolled into balls though, the dough is too wet. I scooped the dough and placed it in globs on the cookie sheet, then dipped a glass in water and flattened the cookie dough. This worked very well and I ended up with the same result as if they were able to be rolled into balls. I recommend this recipe!

    • eurica
      Jun 29, 2019

      To FLIPPERPIE * In reading your review my heart went out to you on the loss of your Lemon Tea Cookie recipe. I am attaching a link to a Lemon Tea cookie that's been around since the 1950's and has excellent reviews. I hope this is close to what you are looking for

    • flipperpie
      Feb 24, 2019

      Just made this cookie. Could not roll into balls because was very sticky. Instead I refrigerated it for about 20minutes. I used a small cookie scoop and bakes them at 11 minutes. Glad I followed suggestions and added lemon extract. I also used just a dash of vanilla. This cookie is very good but I probably will not make it again. I had a delicious lemon tea cookie that I have made for years and unfortunately lost the recipe. I don’t know how to make it from memory. Have been searching for a long time and will keep searching.

    • Sherri Duran
      Feb 16, 2019

      I love these cookies. Do add extra lemon juice to get that lemon flavor.

    • jshearer
      Dec 15, 2018

      These were great! I did add lemon extract and make them smaller. I used different colors of coarse sugar for fun. I will be making these again soon!

    • Elf
      Nov 18, 2018

      No comment left

    • lbloss
      Jun 18, 2018

      Delicious lemon cookie! I substituted gluten-free flour for AP flour, as my husband has Celiac, but simply loves sugar cookies. Also made them into smaller cookies since we were taking them to a party. My husband commented they were the best sugar cookies I had ever made. Will keep this recipe and make them again and again!

    • Jeanie
      Jun 14, 2018


    • LBurkey
      Jun 13, 2018

      This cookie was good, but I was disappointed in how it flattened out so much. I have other lemon sugar cookies that I like better. I think I will pass on this recipe next time.